Peel, Not Just Another TV Remote App for iPhone

Peel’s journey has been an interesting one. It started last fall when we started hearing about an FCC filing from a Santa Clara start-up company named Zelfy. The product’s tagline was “every remote and TV guide now on your phone.” Fast forward to January of this year, and we get some more information about the mysterious Peel Fruit.

The Peel system uses an IR dongle, built into a fruit shaped casing, that must sit somewhere in IR range of all of your components. The plastic shaped fruit works like a middleman between your iPhone (or iPad for that matter) and your home theater. How does the fruit receive commands from your iPhone? Wifi of course…

The Peel Fruit hardware is $99 and the application is free and available for download now. At that price, Peel definitely makes itself a competitor with Logitech’s Harmony lineup and other universal remote options, which start at around $99. But what about up against other iOS remote options?

We’ve covered several here on the blog. RedEye from ThinkFlood is extremely similar but the hardware can cost almost twice as much. The RedEye Mini can be found for around $50, but a quick Google search tells you it’s not really a good idea. The Griffin Beacon might be a formidable competitor at $79,99, but availability is listed as coming soon.

So Peel it is, and if your wondering how the iPhone application looks, it’s gorgeous. You can swipe through show listings so easy, it’s reminiscent of Pulse . However, the slick interface is only available when watching live cable. When used with your DVR or media streaming devices, a generic browsing mode appears that reminds me of older, Palm remote applications.

I’ve been in the market for a universal remote application probably since the day I purchased my first iPhone. But to tell you the truth, I haven’t come across one that will give me a good, all around, user experience. If the rumored Netflix integration deal goes through, and they add the sleek interface for some of my other components, I may give the Peel a serious shot.

Does anyone use a remote control application on the iPhone? Give us your comments and suggestions below!